A few months before the opening of the 2023 Spanish F4 season in Spa-Francorchamps, the time has come for the breakdown of the 2022 season, which was dominated by Nikola Tsolov. Feeder Series take a look at who’s going where for the 2023 Spanish F4 season.
By Grégoire Devaux
In 2022, Formula 4 has been defined by the standout performances of two rookies: Andrea Kimi Antonelli and Nikola Tsolov. While Antonelli, a Mercedes academy driver, won both Italian and ADAC F4, Bulgarian driver Tsolov clinched the Spanish F4 title in a dominant fashion.
Engaged with Campos, he won 13 of the 21 races of the season, breaking all records and leading him to beannounced as an FIA F3 driver for 2023, with 2022’s team champion ART. The 16-year-old will partner Grégoire Saucy and Kaylen Frederick in the team which helped Victor Martins clinch the drivers’ championship.
Spanish F4’s 2022 runner-up Hugh Barter will join his rival Tsolov in FIA F3 next season after being announced at Campos on Friday.
Leaving Formula 4
Apart from Nikola Tsolov and Hugh Barter, a few other drivers have announced their plans to leave Formula 4 next season.
After a difficult season with CRAM Motorsport, finishing 22nd in the standings, Ricardo Escotto was the first driver to announce his plan to leave the championship, back in October. The Mexican driver will compete in Indy Pro 2000 for Jay Howard Driver Development.
Competing with Drivex this season, where he finished 11th, Gael Julien will leave the single-seater category in 2023. After some post-season testing, the French driver will join the European Le Mans Series in LMP3.
Finally, Vladislav Ryabov announced that he was leaving GRS at the end of the Spanish F4 season, before hinting at a move to Euroformula Open in 2023. The Russian driver competed with Drivex in Euroformula post-season testing.
Feeder Series understand that MP Motorsport will not be renewing the contract of Suleiman Zanfari, who could take part in the inaugural season of Eurocup-3.
All open for 2023
Despite his impressive season, Tymoteusz Kucharczyk faces some difficulties in the funding of his career. A comeback in karting isn’t impossible for the 16-year-old, who finished third last season.
Former teammates Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak and Kirill Smal both took part in the FRECA post-season test with MP and could make the step up in 2023. The Thai driver also tested in LMP3, so a double program next season is a possibility.
This leaves a free seat for Sebastian Gravlund, who finished 21st in his rookie season, or Miron Pingasov. The latter, however, didn’t really impress in his second season, finishing 18th.
After an improved second season in Spanish F4 with Campos, Georg Kelstrup‘s future is not decided yet. However, Feeder Series understands that Eurocup-3 could be an opportunity for the Danish driver.
Ricardo Gracia Filho, who came out of a difficult season with GRS, competed with Monlau in the post-season tests at Barcelona and Valencia. It is yet to know if the young Brazilian convinced the team to offer him a seat for the upcoming season.
As a member of the Kokoro Performance coaching agency, Maximus Mayer is expected to either stay in Spanish F4 or make the step up to Eurocup-3, as Feeder Series learned recently.
After finishing 23rd in his rookie season with Fórmula de Campeones, the 17-year-old Spanish-British driver could stay with the only team that failed to score a point last season.
Spanish F4 in 2023
Finishing 6th with two podiums in his rookie season, Valerio Rinicella has recently been announced to stay for a second season in Spanish F4 with MP Motorsport.
His teammate Christian Ho will also stay in the championship for a second season, but not with the Dutch team – Feeder Series learned that the Singapore driver is set to switch to Campos in 2023.
Valerio Rinicella isn’t the only driver announced by MP Motorsport; Jeronimo Berrío will fight for the title after finishing sixth in French F4 last season.
He will drive alongside Keanu Al Azhari, who is the latest winner of the Richard Mille Young Talent Academy, and Pedro Clerot. The Brazilian will undoubtedly be one to watch in 2023 after winning the inaugural season of Brazilian F4.
With Nikola Tsolov and Hugh Barter stepping up to F3, Campos will try to hold their championship title in 2023. The Spanish side have announced the comeback of Jesse Carrasquedo Jr., who will reunite with the team after having missed the second part of the season because of illness.
Impressive during the six races he took part with the team last season, Noah Strømsted is the third driver to have been announced by Campos, where the 15-year-old Dane will complete his first full season in Spanish F4.
A third driver recently announced at Campos is new Red Bull junior Enzo Deligny, one of the biggest promises of the karting world. The French driver, who will turn 15 just before the start of the season, made a big impact in post-season testing. Alongside him is likely to be Peruvian driver Andrés Cárdenas.
As of yet, Feeder Series understand that Fórmula de Campeones have only signed Australian driver Griffin Peebles for 2023. After some years of Australian and European karting, he will make his single-seater debut in 2023.
Daniel Nogales has officially renewed for another season with Drivex, who have announced no fewer than six drivers for this upcoming season. The 19-year-old Spanish driver will be the only one with single-seater experience.
They have also announced S35 academy drivers Alexander Bolduev and George Zhuravskiy as well as Georgian Alexander Abkhazava. The members of the S35 Academy are gaining experience in F4 UAE with Xcel Motorsport, while the latter is doing the same with R-ace GP.
Maximiliano Restrepo and Juan Cota will complete the 2023 line-up for the Spanish team.
After completing the second part of the 2022 season with Saintéloc Racing, Feeder Series understands that Théophile Naël will stay with the team for his first full season in single-seaters. He is also part of the team’s line-up for F4 UAE this winter.
Finally, GRS recently announced their first driver for the 2023 season, with Dani Maciá returning for his second full season in Spanish F4. The Spanish driver competed in one round at Valencia last season with Teo Martín Motorsport and also finished fifth in 2021 with Fórmula de Campeones.
Header photo credit: Media Stellantis
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